Daniel Ricciardo didn’t have the possibility to enjoy the Italian fans as much as he wanted during Qualifying, as the Australian driver did just one lap during Q1 because of his penalties which will make him start from the back of the grid tomorrow.
The number 3 is then looking forward to the race, as he is feeling more confident lap after lap with the new Renault engine.
“I felt like we had a little bit more in it, the new spec C seems encouraging. I think we will have a little more power during the race”
Ricciardo hopes to recover as much positions as he can in the first corner already: “I’m used to starting from the back. Tomorrow… if I could get through the first lap with 5 position gain, then we’ll looking pretty good. I really think if we make a good first lap and overtake a few cars, then I think we can pick through and get the top 5 finish.”
The strategy seems pretty open too, as he could choose to go with the hardest compound through most of the race, but his goal is still to move as much as he can through the field and then go for the best strategy, as the tyres give them “flexibility to stop on lap 3 or lap 40, so we’re keeping options open.”
“Every bit of power helps, but tomorrow I think a lot it’s gonna be on the braking and I hope it’s gonna be fun for you guys. For me it always is.” Continued the Honey Badger, who is mostly looking for Singapore, a track which suits the RB14 better on the aerodynamic side.
The new engine can help Red Bull to get close to Ferrari and Mercedes, but not as much as they hope.
“I could say that with the new engine we can gain two tenths but it’s a guess, it’s probably close. I feel like Ferrari improved since Monaco, and we did but not as much as them. Singapore will not be as strong as Monaco for us, I will say Ferrari is the favourite.”
Max Verstappen is on the same opinion as his team mate, saying that the gap in Singapore will maybe be about 3 or 4 tenths from the top 2 team.
The Dutchman has qualified 5th today and will start behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“Fifth was what we expected already before the weekend. It’s quite normal where we are, so it’s not a disappointment, we just tried to do the best Qualifying we could. We can’t really do much more, it’s quite painful how much we lose on the straight, but it is what it is.”
Can he score another podium like he did in Belgium? “We need a lot of luck for it, like in Spa, but Monza is definitely harder.”